SpokenWord Paris this summer

Extra date! Due to popular demand there will be a SpokenWord on 8th Aug.

SpokenWord will be on holiday between August 9th & 31st but Open Secret – the open mic at the Bistrot des Artistes – will run forever, every Wednesday.

SpokenWord Paris is one pole of a nomadic tribe of people who love poetry, writing and song. A home for creatives and lost anglophones. We do two open mic nights (SpokenWord every Monday, Open Secret every Wednesday) and a writers’ workshop at Shakespeare & Company (every Sunday.) We do a literary journal called The Bastille and Tightrope Books published many of us in the book “Strangers in Paris.” Click on the blue stamp on the right to sign up to the mailing list.

Open mic/scène ouverte: Performance poetry. Lire vivant. Poésie sonore. Stand up. Monologue. Stories. Beat poetry. Spoken word. English. Français. Your own original texts. Old texts from Rimbaud to Dr Seuss, Beowulf to Gil Scott-Heron. Chacun a son mot à dire. Make the words come alive…………………….. Acoustic songs also welcome.

SpokenWord Sounds
A monthly podcast of SpokenWord Paris, by Victor. Listen or download here.

Every Monday Au Chat Noir, 76 rue Jean-Pierre Timbaud 75011. Métro Parmentier/Couronnes. Sign up 8pm to 9.30pm in the bar. Poetics start from 8.30pm underground. Check out the
Practical info page for more info. Paris’ biggest and longest-running English open mic night, started in 2006. All langues welcome. Entry one euro.

Check next week’s theme here

Open Secret 
Every Wednesday David Leo Sirois hosts his open mic for poetry & song at the Bistrot des Artistes, 6 rue des Anglais, 75005, métro Maubert-Mutualité (line 10) or St Michel (line 4.) Sign up 8.30pm. Themes annnounced by the mailing list and on facebook. Free.

The Other Writers’ Group
In 2005 I could only find one anglophone writers’ group in Paris and it was at a time I couldn’t make. So I started this one, the other writers’ group. It’s become an excellent feedback workshop running every Sunday. 6.30pm-8.30pm at Shakespeare & Company, 37 rue de la Bûcherie, 75005. Suggested donation 5 euros. Bring your writing or just come and listen join the discussion. Hosted by me, Bruce Sherfield and other regulars. Description Join us afterwards for a drink. Cheers, David Barnes

Chat Noir sketch drawn by Allison Iwata.

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Angel Nafis, Morgan Parker and Danez Smith to guest at SpokenWord Paris July 25th ! Monday’s Theme—Ghosts/Haunting

The Other Black Girl Collective is a Brooklyn-based black feminist poetry duo comprised of nationally acclaimed award winning authors Angel Nafis and Morgan Parker. Despite popular belief, we are not actually the same person. We aim to celebrate black female expression and sisterhood, honor and highlight the multiplicity of the black female experience, and push against tropes and stereotypes that smother and limit us. Our work, featured in Poetry Magazine, The Paris Review, The BreakBeat Poets Anthology, Best American Poetry 2016 and Buzzfeed, is deeply personal and individual, explores 21st century black American womanhood and its complexities: performance, depression, isolation, exoticism, racism, pop culture, femininity, family and politics. With energy, brutal honesty, dark humor, anger and pride, we aim to create a new Black Girl mythology. This is our first international tour of our two woman show If You Are Over Staying Woke.
Danez Smith is the author of [insert] boy (2014, YesYes Books), winner of the 2014 Lambda Literary Award for Gay Poetry and finalist for the Norma Farber First Book Award from the Poetry Society of America. Their 2nd collection, Don’t Call Us Dead, will be published by Graywolf Press in 2017. They are also the author of two chapbooks, hands on ya knees  & black movie, winner of the Button Poetry Prize. Their work has published & featured widely including in Poetry Magazine, Beloit Poetry Journal, Buzzfeed, Blavity, & Ploughshares. They are a 2014 Ruth Lilly – Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Fellow, a Cave Canem and VONA alum, and a recipient of a McKnight Foundation Fellowship. Danez is a 2-time Individual World Poetry Slam finalist, placing 2nd in 2014. They edit for The Offing & is a founding member of 2 collectives, Dark Noise and Sad Boy Supper Club. Danez lives in the midwest most of the time.

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Open Secret, 2nite! Rykarda Parasol’s “rock noir,” intimate & unplugged!


Open Secret seems to exist (oh-so-happily!) at Le Bistrot des Artistes – 6 rue des Anglais, 75005 Paris. A petite passage joining in holy matrimony Boulevard Saint Germain & rue Lagrange…From Saint Germain, look for the Franprix-in-the-alley! Métro Maubert-Mutualité (line 10) or Saint-Michel (line 4). 8:30 sign-up, 9 of the clock rock!

Come walk on the wild side! The theme tonight is the name of my new fave song, Rykarda’s “The Cloak of Comedy.” Rich possibilities there, non? Please give this a listen:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xoF62M762_U…C U there!

Rykarda’s bio:
Rykarda Parasol is a composer, lyricist, vocalist, musician, and performer. Originally from San Francisco, she now splits her time between there and Paris, France. Like any ancient explorer, she has stories and musings to convey. With a precarious, gender-bending vocal she weaves tales of identity, experience, loss, and adventure with elegance and discernment. She describes her sound as “Rock noir” which combines elements of folk. Americana, psychedelic 60s, and even Motown. Parasol has just released her fourth album, The Color of Destruction, on various European labels including Warner Music (Poland) and Interbang (Germany).
• Web Site: http://rykardaparasol.com/

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Elan Mehler to guest at SpokenWord Paris July 18th ! Monday’s Theme—Sacrilegious/Sinful/Irreverent

Elan Mehler was born in Boston, studied jazz and classical music at New York University, and resided in NYC playing music with various ensembles for ten years.
Called “disorienting and fascinating” by MOJO magazine and a “…refreshingly slow answer to our trashy nanosecond pop culture” by Time Out London, Elan Mehler, the pianist and star discovery of Radio 1 veteran Gilles Peterson has released three albums on Brownswood Recordings, and now two records with Challenge Records.  2007’s “Scheme For Thought” called a “…work of mellow magnificence” by Time Out and garnered a four star review from MOJO Magazine, was selected as a top ten record of 2007 by the Stephen Graham.  2009’s “The After Suite,” “a masterpiece with a capital ‘M,”  –All About Jazz, was hailed as “…positively rhapsodic” by Time Out.  2010’s collaboration with the Oklahoman singer-songwriter Adam McBride-Smith, Half Seas Over, built  “…a productive relationship between two genres of music that few jazz artists other than Bill Frisell have managed to splice…” Elan signed with the Dutch record label, Challenge Records in 2013 and has released a trio record and solo piano record to critical acclaim.  Elan has performed his music worldwide at major festivals, venues and radio stations.
From 2010-2015 Elan lived in Paris where he started writing dirty, disturbing songs.  He now sings these songs often with his band as TJ and the Revenge to packed crowds in very, very small venues.

Mehler’s touch is as nuanced as Bill Evans’s, and his phrasing draws on both jazz and classical music without directly importing licks from either.  The subdued certainties of his playing bring a crowded room to total silence.”
–John Fordham, The Guardian
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Open Secret, 2nite! Guest poet Chris Bernstorf, featured singer Jan Dark!


Open Secret! Wednesdays @ Le Bistrot des Artistes, 6 rue des Anglais, 75005 Paris. 8:30 signup, 9pm show. Métro Maubert-Mutualité (line 10) or Saint-Michel (line 4).

This week’s special guest poet: Chris Bernstorf (http://www.chrisbernstorf.com/), plus ingenious German electro-pop singer/songwriter Jan Dark (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCs9_Lp1S5m1iK-HoYadmLfw). Theme: “I’ll never grow up!”

Chris Bernstorf’s bio:
Performing since 2010 and touring since he finished college in the spring of 2012, ChrisBernstorf has carved a singular trail. Having performed around 400 shows in 38 states and Canada, he finds himself equally at home in the middle of a metal show or a living room and has developed a reputation for breaking down the barriers between himself and his audience, inviting everyone in the room into an experience, one he hopes is wrought with honesty, passion, and love.

Jan Dark’s bio:
“Ever since my childhood days in Germany, I’ve always thought of reality as something tedious to avoid at all costs. What helped me through the day was a coccoon made of all kinds of music. Throughout this journey, I’ve always kept writing my own songs. One EP (R.A.W.), one album (Charting Darker Waters), and lots of concerts ensued, and after several years of joyful noise, I felt like cooling things down for a change. The resulting EP “Healer” is equally sober and dreamy: minimalist, hypnotic pop music, with the occasional psychedelic flourish.”

See ya @ da Bistrot 2nite, for poetry, hilarity & hot music!:)


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Chris Bernstorf to Guest at SpokenWord Paris July 11th—Monday’s Theme: The Art of Living

Performing since 2010 and touring since he finished college in the spring of 2012, Chris 11080846_879435895449465_7545653238110048260_oBernstorf has carved a singular trail.  Having performed around 400 shows in 38 states and Canada, he finds himself equally at home in the middle of a metal show or a living room and has developed a reputation for breaking down the barriers between himself and his audience, inviting everyone in the room into an experience, one he hopes is wrought with honesty, passion, and love.  His poems run the gamut from shout-a-long anthems to quiet love poems to post-rock-length journeys and are united by an indomitable sense of joy and life.  Performing in every setting from music venues to parks to kitchens to a church bathroom, Bernstorf’s poems have found a home in the ears of everyone from middle schoolers to hardcore kids to middle-aged moms, proving at every turn that the ultimate classification for his poems is simply poetry for people

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June at SpokenWord Paris: Highlights by Sabine Dundure.

This gallery contains 46 photos.

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SpokenWord 4th July – Fork Burke & Sebastian Rotzler

Fork Burke and Sebastian RotzlerThis 4th of July the theme at SpokenWord is SPACE. The special guests are Fork Burke (poet) and Sebastian Rotzler (double bass).

Contributing poet at The First Brussels International Underground Poetry Festival, Fork Burke’s Licking Glass is a book of poems, poetic essays and other images. Recordings include Fork Remixed – Which was among the winners of the Australian International Song Competition. Her latest Spoken Word recording is Durch die Blumen

Sebastian Rotzler is a double-bass player, improviser and sound-creator. His work emphasizes experimental, improvised music. His playing is inspired by associations, by developing sound patterns, but it can also outburst into sudden but still specific sound interventions.

SpokenWord – sign up from 8pm, poetics begin  underground from 8.30pm
Au Chat Noir, 76 rue Jean-Pierre Timbaud, 75011 metro Parmentier/Couronnes
Entry: free
Exit: One euro

”Chacun a son mot à dire.”

Cheers all,

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Open Secret, 2nite! “Buh-bye for now!” as we send off some young old friends from Germany…

Buh-bye fer now!

Open Secret! Wednesdays @ Le Bistrot des Artistes.
6 rue des Anglais, 75005 Paris. Tonight’s theme:
“Buh-bye for now!” as we well-wish some young old friends…:)
8:30 signup, 9pm show.
Métro Maubert-Mutualité (line 10) or Saint-Michel (line 4).
‘Tis an open stage: sing, recite, act, make people laugh, create startling performance art…be an inventor!  6 rue des Anglais is a postcard passageway marrying Boulevard Saint Germain to rue Langrange.  From St. Germain, just look for the wee Franprix-in-the-alley…the Bistrot’s steps away.  Our theme this Wednesday is “Buh-bye for now!”😉

Let’s all meet at Le Bistrot des Artistes this coooool evening! 

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Comparing Chiaroscuro Techniques: Gerrit Van Honthorst vs Sabine Dundure.

A comparison between “The Denial of St.Peter” by Gerrit Van Honthorst dated 1622 and “The Birthday of  St. Leo Sirois” by Sabine Dundure June 2016.

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LOST IN TRANSLATION – SpokenWord & Ivy Writers joint event this Monday 27th June

european-union-eu-flag-missing-star-brexitIVY WRITERS PARIS / Spoken Word Paris Double Header!
27 June 2016 à 18h30 Ivy with the poets :
Frédéric Forte (Toulouse et Paris/France)
Jay Deshpande (NY/USA)
and Eve Rifka (MA/USA)

Followed by the usual Spoken Word open mic at 20h30 with our own guest poet Derry O’Sullivan (Irelande/Paris) and open mic theme LOST in TRANSLATION.

27th June from 18h30: (please note the EARLY time!) Ivy Writers Paris invites you to a pre-Spoken Word Paris event to celebrate the new book DIRE OUF by Frederic Forte (France) and the visits from Massachusetts and New York of poets Eve Rifka and Jay Deshpande!!! Then, sign up to read one of YOUR poems at Spoken Word right afterwards—with guest Irish poet Derry O’Sullivan!

 le 27 juin 2016
à 18h30 – Ivy Writers
à 20h30 – SpokenWord open mic as usual – with guest poet Derry O’Sullivan

Some notes about the poets :

Derry O’Sullivan – Irish, born into an English-speaking family, writes in Irish, resident in Paris since the 60s. Following info from Poetry International Foundation:

 An Lá go dTáinig Siad (2005) is an ambitious long poem told partly in the voice of a young Parisian Jewish girl. It was inspired by the revelation that the flat in which O’Sullivan lived had belonged to a Jewish family deported by the Nazis in 1944.

O’Sullivan’s most recent collection An Bhfuil Cead Agam Dul Amach? (2009) continues his development. ‘Aisling Phéist Chabáiste’ displays a sly and sympathetic humour while ‘Fón Póca nó Citeal Deora’ works beautifully towards its final image of ‘soithí salacha do shúl / ar maos i gciteal deora’ (‘the dirty dishes of your eyes / steeping in a kettle of tears’).

Frédéric Forte,  born in 1973 in Toulouse, currently lives in Paris. Poet, member of Oulipo. Author of (among many other things) Dire ouf  (P.O.L, 2016) which Ivy is excited to help launch to its bilingual audience.

Eve Rifkah read last week at SpokenWord, you might remember her interest in Suzanne Valadon Co-founder of Poetry Oasis, Inc. (1998-2012), a non-profit poetry association dedicated to education and promoting local poets. Founder, editor and chief, and bottle-washer ofDINER, a literary magazine with a 7 year run. Author of Dear Suzanne (WordTech Communications, 2010) among other things.

Jay Deshpande is the author of Love the Stranger (YesYes Books, 2015), named one of the top debuts of 2015 by Poets & Writers. Writes for Slate and teaches at Columbia University. More info is available at www.jaydeshpande.com.

All at the Chat Noir, 76 rue Jena=Pierre Timbaud, 75011 metro Parmentier/Couronnes

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